Background and Business Challenge
Mr. Marcus Stimler is the Chief Technology Officer for Capgemini, UK, a company with 140,000 employees across 40 countries. Capgemini services thousands of clients worldwide and offers an array of integrated services that combine leading-edge technology with deep business expertise. Marcus’ job is to ensure that investments in technology provide a positive return for Capgemini and allow the company’s most valuable employees – its consultants – to be as productive as possible.
As a result, business productivity search – the kind of enterprise search X1 enables – is of great interest to Mr. Stimler. Because Capgemini is an organization that is consistently innovating, creating new products, new ideas and new ways of working, it is critically important that employees not be slowed down trying to find and act on information and knowledge. As Marcus puts it:
“If you put that in terms of knowledge, we are creating, packaging, and delivering knowledge, and it’s essential that we find what we know. Our information is 100% critical and it is a huge part of what we’re made up of. You want to be able to make sure that the knowledge you’ve invested in can be found.”
Because of the organizational premium placed on knowledge, Capgemini employees were frustrated the inability to quickly find critical, time-sensitive documents, emails and information necessary for daily business requirements. As a result, individual employees took it upon themselves to look for a solution and discovered X1 Search. “The individual users were absolutely the catalyst and the start of X1 whereby it became a tool where people could actually find what they were looking for.”
The increase in productivity amongst the X1 users created a groundswell within Capgemini that gained the recognition of senior management, and convinced leadership to provide X1 to more employees. According to Marcus, the thinking became, “we must find a tool that our users enjoy and want to use, because, if they do not want to use it, as great as it might be, it’s not going to be very helpful.” With an end user focus as a foundation, the company took a pragmatic approach, first setting up a pilot program to roll X1 out more broadly within the company. The pilot program evolved and X1 Search is now a mission-critical application with 3,000 users globally to date with more to come.
X1's Ease of Use Drives Adoption
Marcus identified workflow support, or allowing users to work in the way in which they prefer and are most productive – as a key value proposition of X1 Search:
“It’s really important that organizations consider what the impact is of the workflow on the users’ day-to-day workflow by the implementation of a search solution. What was great with X1 was that actually the requirement to get taxonomy right when you upload something into a knowledge base was very low. In most organizations the taxonomy changes as products or service offerings change. With X1 you’re looking at the content of the document, so you can actually remove the requirement to invest lots of time in taxonomy, and you end up just looking at the actual content of the document you want to find.”
Because X1 Search fits individual users’ unique workflows, Capgemini was able to roll the tool out more broadly and more easily gain acceptance and adoption. In that way, IT assumed the role of hero as opposed to the traditional role of antagonist. With X1 Search, Capgemini noted multiple benefits: ease of use; speed and accuracy of search; and the elimination of a user’s need to log into multiple systems. These benefits directly contribute to improved productivity, positive ROI, and end-user satisfaction. Marcus notes that:
“What we discovered with X1 when we started to run our feedback with the early pilots is that people were really impressed with the speed of the search and with the eliminated need to log onto multiple systems. Capgemini values its’ knowledge immensely and it’s really critical that we’re able to find a tool that does two things: 1) A tool that has the capability to tap into the knowledge that we want to make available, and 2) A tool that our users enjoy and want to use.
Flexibility and Scalability Allow Capgemini to Grow the X1 Deployment as Needed
Capgemini’s journey began with individuals discovering X1 Search for themselves, installing and using it on their laptops to great success, and then drawing management’s attention to the solution. After deploying X1 Search to a broader swath of the company, Capgemini expanded from desktop search to SharePoint search, creating a single-pane-of-glass view for the most common sources of information. As Capgemini continues to add data sources, both on premise and in the Cloud, X1’s flexible architecture and intuitive interface are key. For example, with SharePoint search, X1 leverages the existing SharePoint index rather than forcing the IT team to re-index that content for each individual user. Such remote searches allow customers like Capgemini to roll out X1 on an enterprise scale. Marcus points out:
“The scalability is fantastic when you start looking at the connections available for X1 which are all sitting on the users’ desktop. So from the user’s point of view, they can find everything from multiple repositories from a single interface rather than having to log into their Outlook, SharePoint, and our organization’s information repositories and intranet. That’s fantastic and saves a huge amount of time and it also means you may well tap into knowledge bases that you otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time to tap into.”
Search Empowers Users and Organizations
Capgemini’s strategic, user-focused approach to enterprise search centers on the understanding that effective search allows users to determine what they are looking for, as opposed to relying on algorithms or updating complex taxonomies. In the search space, analysts report that although 100% of the strategy around enterprise search is about enabling business productivity, a very small percentage of the dollars spent on enterprise search are actually targeted on the business productivity search that X1 enables.
Most search initiatives start out detached and separated from users through IT requirements building and vendor discussions; the focus is on informational web search and Big Data, which leads to a costly and cumbersome project. Although analytics and reporting serve a significant purpose for business and organizational intelligence, they very rarely, if ever, impact a user’s day to day workflow – which is 80% or more of the use case for enterprise search and the engine that drives any business.
Mr. Stimler and Capgemini rely on X1 Search to enhance their productivity by quickly locating information amongst a relentless avalanche of emails and other data. Many high-powered business professionals at top consulting organizations, financial institutions, major law firms, and science and engineering firms express similar sentiments to Mr. Stimler’s testimonial. They all rely on X1 Search to give their users a single-pane-of-glass to view their most important information (email, files, SharePoint, archives) increase their staff’s productivity and ROI.